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Review: ASUS ROG Ally

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ASUS is the latest brand to jump onto the handheld gaming bandwagon. The company’s new ROG Ally makes a grand entrance as the first major player to join forces with Microsoft and AMD to come out with a powerful handheld gaming device.

The ROG Ally is an absolute game-changer since it is packed with AMD’s cutting-edge Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor and RDNA 3 graphics technology. This sort of configuration will take your gaming experience to a whole new level.

Windows 11 also emerges as a game-changer – it offers lots of benefits to gamers. The compatibility factor is a standout, as virtually every game runs seamlessly without the need for emulation. In addition, game streaming works flawlessly, enhancing the overall gaming experience. However, ASUS has taken this goodness to a step further by incorporating its Armoury Crate SE software on top of Microsoft’s OS.

What’s more, the ROG Ally surpasses the Steam Deck in a remarkable fashion. It boasts a vibrant 1920-by-1080 display that makes very detail pop onscreen. Not only is the resolution top-notch, but the screen also excels in speed, offering a swift 120Hz refresh rate, further enhancing your overall gameplay. The 7-inch FHS IPS display also offers an aspect ratio of 16:9, 500 nits of peak brightness, and a 7-ms response time. In addition, the display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.

ROG Ally also comes with the Adaptive Sync technology, which guarantees a crystal-clear viewing experience, whether you’re engrossed in an intense gaming session or indulging in a movie marathon. The display’s vivid colours, high resolution, and lightning-fast refresh rate work together to deliver an excellent visual experience. You also get a virtual 5.1.2-channel surround sound, powered by Dolby Atmos technology, that immerses you completely into the gaming world.

Under the hood, you also get 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD storage. In terms of I/O ports, you get one ROG XG Mobile, one USB-C, and one 3.5mm audio jack. Wireless connectivity the handheld gaming console supports include WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. The gaming console also comes with a wide range of controls – these include ABXY, D-pad, two triggers, two bumpers, two back buttons, two thumbsticks, View, Menu, Command Centre, and Armoury Crate buttons.

From the moment I picked up the Asus ROG Ally, it was quite clear that this device was designed to provide a sturdy and robust feel without compromising on portability. The intelligently placed angled curves along the back perfectly contour to fit the hands, while the gently sloping corners on the front create an exceptionally comfortable resting place for the palms.

Even though it has some of the most powerful specs on a handheld gaming console, the ROG Ally strikes the perfect balance in terms of thickness, form factor, and weight. The ROG Ally weighs just 608 grams. Each joystick on the Asus ROG Ally is adorned with RGB light rings, which according to Asus, should react to in-game effects. You also have the option to disable or modify the lighting effects using the Command Center or Armoury Crate SE.

The Asus ROG Ally also has a holographic stripe running down its back, accompanied by vents shaped in the iconic ROG logo. The Ally, however, does not include a kickstand. However, Asus compensates for this by providing a separate stand in the box, constructed from molded cardboard.

With Armory Crate SE providing customisable controls, the ROG Ally ensures a comfortable gaming experience, catering to your preference. You can either use the controller on the device, the touch screen, or even a mouse and keyboard, to play games on this thing. And once you connect the XG Mobile featuring an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU to the ROG Ally, the overall performance just peaks.

Also, with the ROG Ally, you are not limited to just one game library. This device is fully compatible with most gaming platforms out there, including Steam, Xbox Game Pass, Epic, GOG, and many others. No matter where you purchase your favourite games, Ally has you covered. Simply log in to your account, and you’ll have access to all your games.

In terms of performance, the ROG Ally truly has a very good range of capabilities. You can adjust its power consumption down to a mere 7W TDP or ramp it up to an impressive 35W TDP for short bursts when connected to a handheld battery pack. This flexibility allows you to optimise battery life, achieve excellent performance, or even play games that many handheld consoles out there may struggle to handle. To top it off, there’s an added advantage of occasionally gaining a slight boost in speed by utilising the bundled 65-watt USB-C power cord.

The ROG Ally was also able to finish our benchmarks with flying colours. On Geekbench 6, it earned a single-core score of 2,518 and a multi-core score of 11,236. On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider Benchmark, the ROG Ally ran the game at 48 fps at 720p and 31 fps at 1080p. Battery performance was also quite good, averaging anywhere between 2-3 hours of continuous gameplay before it needed recharging.

After a couple of days of gaming on the Ally, I can say that the comfort it offers is truly remarkable. I usually use a handheld device for mobile gaming rather than hooking it up to a television. Hence, my gaming sessions were very enjoyable. The Ally’s ergonomic design, with its gentle curves, fits perfectly in my hands. I did not encounter any issues, even during long gaming sessions.

For a price of AED 2699, you get a very powerful handheld gaming console that can easily turn into a powerful gaming desktop, once you connect it to a power outlet, a mouse, and a keyboard. The ASUS ROG Ally really paves the way forward for handheld PC gaming.

Price: AED 2699

ASUS ROG Ally AED 2699
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

ROG Ally also comes with the Adaptive Sync technology, which guarantees a crystal-clear viewing experience, whether you’re engrossed in an intense gaming session or indulging in a movie marathon. The display’s vivid colours, high resolution, and lightning-fast refresh rate work together to deliver an excellent visual experience.

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Accessories

Ugreen Debuts Robot-Shaped Nexode RG 65W GaN Charger

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Tech accessory maker Ugreen has launched a unique addition to the fast charger market – the Nexode RG 65W. This charger stands out not just for its powerful performance, but also for its playful design resembling a small robot.

The Nexode RG boasts a compact size made possible by Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology. This allows it to deliver a powerful 65W output, enough to rapidly charge laptops in about 30 minutes. Additionally, it features two USB-C ports and a single USB-A port, enabling users to charge three devices simultaneously.

The Nexode RG also boasts functional extras. Removable “boots” offer a playful touch while doubling as a stand and a protective cover for the prongs during travel. For user safety, the charger features a built-in temperature monitor to prevent overheating, short circuits, and overvoltage. Ugreen goes a step further by constructing the Nexode RG with flame-retardant materials, providing additional peace of mind.

Key Features of the Ugreen Nexode RG 65W Charger:

  1. 65W Fast Charging: Power up devices such as laptops and smartphones rapidly with GaN technology.
  2. Triple Port Charging: Charge up to three devices simultaneously with two USB-C ports and one USB-A port.
  3. Compact Design: GaN technology allows for a small and portable form factor.
  4. Robot Design: A playful design with different facial expressions and removable stand “boots.”
  5. Safety Features: Built-in safeguards for overcharging, overheating, and short circuits.

The Ugreen Nexode RG 65W charger is now available for AED 189.

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Audio Devices

Sony Intros ULT POWER SOUND Series of Speakers and Headphones

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Sony Middle East and Africa has launched ULT POWER SOUND series – a new series of wireless speakers and headphones designed to make you feel like you have dived into the front row of the arena. Built for music lovers, it produces powerful deep sound designed to make your heart tremble. The new range consists of wireless speakers ULT TOWER 10, ULT FIELD 7, ULT FIELD 1, and wireless headphones ULT WEAR. All models in the series include the ULT button, providing signature sound quality by enhancing the music with one or two different sound modes.

ULT TOWER 10
Turn your home into party central with massive bass, 360° Party Sound, 360° Party Light and karaoke, thanks to a supplied wireless mic. You can even connect the speaker to your TV to boost the sound of the things you love to watch.

ULT FIELD 7
Liven up your day with punchy bass and expressive lighting wherever you go. The ULT FIELD 7 lets you take the party anywhere thanks to the waterproof and dustproof construction plus a long battery life means you can party for longer. You can even connect to a mic for karaoke on the go.

ULT FIELD 1
Bring your favourite tunes anywhere with enhanced bass built into a compact package with the ULT FIELD 1. Complete with a multi-way strap for ease of use, take your waterproof, dustproof and even shockproof speaker anywhere for longer, thanks to a long battery life.

ULT WEAR
With exceptional bass and improved Noise Cancelling, Sony’s new ULT WEAR headphones let you bring your favourite festival or club feel with you, everywhere you go.

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Electric Scooters

Marshall MA21 Electric Scooter Review: Convenience on Two Wheels

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The Marshall MA21 electric scooter carves a niche in the electric scooter market with its focus on portability and ease of use. In this review, let’s deep dive into the MA21’s features, performance, and overall value proposition to help you decide if it’s the right electric scooter for your needs.

First Impressions
Right out of the box, the MA21 strikes you with its compact size. Weighing in at just over 8kg, it’s incredibly lightweight, thanks to its aluminium frame. This makes carrying it on public transport, storing it under your desk, or throwing it in the trunk of your car a breeze. Folding the scooter is a one-step process, making it even more convenient for on-the-go situations.

Performance
The MA21 is equipped with a 24V/200W motor, which is suitable for flat terrains and gentle inclines up to 15 degrees. The MA21 can also support a maximum load of 90 kg. While it won’t win any speed races, it offers a comfortable cruising speed of 23km/hr, perfect for zipping around town or navigating a college campus.

The MA21 also offers a range of 12-15km, when fully charged. And it takes around 3 hours to charge the electric scooter from 0% to 100%. However, strong winds or steeper inclines can affect performance.

Ride Quality
Despite the solid 6-inch wheels, the MA21 offers a surprisingly smooth ride. The spring suspension in the front helps absorb bumps and cracks on paved surfaces. However, it’s important to manage your expectations – for rougher terrain, a scooter with pneumatic tires would be a better choice.

Safety Features
The MA21 comes equipped with a basic set of safety features. The front wheel features an electronic brake, while the rear wheel has a mechanical foot brake. These brakes provide adequate stopping power for the scooter’s speed. Headlights and a taillight ensure visibility in low-light conditions.

Verdict
The Marshall MA21 might not be the most feature-rich electric scooter on the market, but it excels in portability and ease of use. It’s a perfect choice for riders who prioritise a lightweight, convenient, and affordable way to navigate short distances in urban environments.

If you require a scooter for longer distances, or rough terrains, or crave additional features such as a display, you might want to consider alternatives that better suit your needs. However, if you’re looking for a no-frills, convenient, and fun way to get around for short commutes, leisure rides, or navigating a college campus, the Marshall MA21 is a strong contender.

Price: AED 1199

Marshall MA21 Electric Scooter AED 1199
  • Final Rating
3

Summary

The MA21 is equipped with a 24V/200W motor, which is suitable for flat terrains and gentle inclines up to 15 degrees. The MA21 can also support a maximum load of 90 kgs. While it won’t win any speed races, it offers a comfortable cruising speed of 23km/hr, perfect for zipping around town or navigating a college campus.

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